Millennials aren’t often described as pragmatic, realistic and responsible. But, when it comes to their finances, a study released Tuesday from Northwestern Mutual finds that’s exactly what they are.
The study found that 64% of millennials classify themselves as more inclined to save than spend, and more than half (53%) of millennials have set financial goals, compared with 38% of Americans age 35 and older.
“A lot of millennials don’t feel confident in having entitlements like Social Security around for them when they get to be retired,” said Chantel Bonneau, a Los Angeles-based wealth management advisor with Northwestern Mutual. “There’s the feeling that they really have to do it all by themselves, that they are a little more conservative by nature than maybe their parents were. They act much more like their grandparents.”
And Bonneau knows a thing or two about millennials — not only does she have about 250 millennial clients but she is a millennial herself. A UCLA grad, Bonneau started working for Northwestern right out of college about five years ago.
“By the nature of the fact that I’m young, I think I attract a lot of younger clients who feel that same way,” Bonneau said during a visit to ThinkAdvisor’s New York office. Adding, “I have clients of all different ages, but it’s obviously very interesting and fun for me to work with forward-thinking millennials when I’m given that opportunity because it’s close to my heart, the fact that I’m in the same age bracket.”
Through her conversations and work with millennials, Bonneau has seen the trends emphasized in the study.
“Millennials do feel tied to goals and the need to have a plan in place, and I enjoy my conversations with them and really helping them set those goals and build those priorities and become an accountability partner with them,” Bonneau told ThinkAdvisor. “I think that’s attractive to a lot of millennials, more so than other generations, to want to see [themselves] achieve and progress on an annual basis.”
The study found that 71% of millennials report feeling secure that they will achieve the financial goals they’ve set for themselves.